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U.S. Delegation Congratulates Senegal's New President
The new president of Senegal took his oath of office April 2, 2012 with a delegation of top U.S. officials applauding his inauguration.<br />
The new president of Senegal took his oath of office April 2, 2012 with a delegation of top U.S. officials applauding his inauguration.

President Macky Sall met with the U.S. delegation, led by the chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), following the inauguration. CEO Daniel Yohannes conveyed the congratulations of President Obama, and with him were Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs; U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau Lewis Lukens; and General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command.

"Today is a historic day for Senegal and for democracy in Africa," Yohannes said. "The United States looks forward to working with President Sall and his administration to advance our mutual interests for peace, progress and prosperity."

Sall, a former prime minister, defeated longstanding president Abdoulaye Wade in a run-off election in March. His win was widely celebrated as a victory for democracy in Africa. President Obama issued a statement making that point March 26.

"The government and people of Senegal have once again demonstrated their commitment to political expression through peaceful, democratic elections, making it harder for non-democratic forces near and far to prevail," the Obama statement said.

Senegal is a partner in a $540 million compact with the MCC, a five-year arrangement that became effective in 2010. The project is focusing on Senegalese infrastructure with rehabilitation of major roads, investment in water-resource management and strategic irrigation projects. These improvements will support productivity in the agricultural sector, giving farmers greater opportunity to get their goods to market, according to the partnership plan.

So far contracts worth more than $2.3 million for road repairs have been awarded and are moving toward construction. Over the term of the partnership, the compact calls for rehabilitation of almost 380 kilometers of roadways in the West African country.

The MCC has partnerships with several dozen nations globally, providing assistance to help countries lift themselves from poverty. The MCC has approved $8.4 billion for programs worldwide in agriculture, irrigation, transportation, water supplies, heath care access, enterprise development and anti-corruption.